Riverbend Montessori Spring 2018 Newsletter (3)

riverbendmontessori

RIVERBEND

MONARCH

R I V E R B E N D M O N T E S S O R I

S U G A R L A N D , T E X A S

• S P R I N G 2 0 1 8 •


R I V E R B E N D M O N A R C H

CONTENTS

04

F R O M T H E A D M I N I S T R A T O R

A Year in Review

05

H O W T O S L O W D O W N A N D

C H E R I S H T H E M O M E N T

5 Ways to Cherish the Moment

07

A U T H O R ' S T E A

A Riverbend Tradition

08

A B U M P E R Y E A R

Lower Elementary in Review

09

W H A T I S G O I N G O N I N S I D E

O U R B R A I N S

Montessori and the Whole Brain

10

T R A N S I T I O N T O D D L E R

P R O G R A M

A Year of Great Change


R I V E R B E N D M O N A R C H

11

P R I M A R Y 2 I N R E V I E W

Spring Rings in Many New Lessons

12

M I N D F U L N E S S I N T H E

M O N T E S S O R I E N V I R O N M E N T

Mindfulness abounds in Montessori Education

14

T H E B E A U T Y O F H I S T O R Y -

M O N T E S S O R I S T Y L E

Why History Matters

16

W H Y M O N T E S S O R I

The Importance of the Kindergarten Year

17

S T I L L L I F E

An Art Update

18

T H E M O N T E S S O R I

G R E E N H O U S E

A Step by Step Preparation for the Future


A YEAR IN

REVIEW

W I T H A D M I N I S T R A T O R S U S A N H Y L T O N

As we reach the end of another school year, I find

myself reflecting on the events of this year. We

started the year with a Hurricane, record-breaking

floods and tornadoes. As we reached the middle of the

school year, we had the joyous experience of snow, not

once but twice – A Harvey Miracle! The remainder of

the year has been (knock on wood) relatively calm

weather-wise. We have had such an exciting year of

lessons and goings on at the school that it seems that

the whole year has just zoomed by. I look at the

children in Transition, some of whom were only 18

months old when they started and wonder at how

grown up and independent they have become. The

three-year-olds are now starting to read and the

Kindergarteners performed their first right of passage

by presenting their written stories at Author's Tea.

The first graders made a deal with their teacher that

they wanted to be learning division in math before the

end of the year and they have made it! We raised a

record-breaking $6290 for St. Jude’s. Parent’s came

every month for Coffee Workday and helped us prepare

so many materials their hands were starting to hurt.

The Upper Elementary students left the state to visit

Mesa Verde in Colorado and somehow seemed even

more mature when they returned.

It takes a committed community of parents, students,

and teachers to make this all happen. Thank youfor all

you do for our students. We are dedicated to guiding

generations of independent, kind and thoughtful

learners through their early school years and with your

help, we have achieved that mission again this year.

This year in review would not be complete without

saying thank you and farewell to two of our teachers.

Ms. Natasha an assistant teacher in Primary 1 and our

After Care teacher is moving to another part of

Houston. We will miss you and we wish you well in your

new role. Our beloved Ms. Kinnari will be retiring from

teaching this year. Ms. Kinnari has been with

Riverbend for many years and has been a teacher for

over 45 years. She will be sorely missed but luckily, we

will continue to see her as she has agreed to

substitute teach for us next year.

For those who are graduating from our school this year

we wish you well on the next leg of life’s journey. We

hope that Riverbend stays in your heart through all

your years. To those returning next year, we are

looking forward to sharing another exciting year of

Montessori learning. We wish you all a relaxing and

hopefully adventurous summer.

- 04 -


HOW TO SLOW DOWN &

CHERISH THE MOMENT

5 W A Y S T O C H E R I S H T H E M O M E N T B Y

S A L I M A R U P A N I L E A D T E A C H E R P 1

How often do you find yourself sighing

the expression.…”I can’t wait until…?”

When you wake up on a Monday morning

and automatically think, “I can’t wait

until Friday!”

When you feel overworked and think “I

can’t wait until my vacation!”

Many of us have feelings and thoughts

such as these at times. How about when

it comes to your kids? We’ve absolutely

found ourselves saying “I can’t wait until

he reads,” or “I can’t wait until she can

play the piano” or “I can’t wait until

he/she can do this herself!”

Parts of parenting are so unbelievable

and rewarding that you simply cannot

wait for the next milestone. On the

contrary, certain stages of parenting

can be quite demanding and exhausting

that you can't wait for that next

milestone. Trying not to jump ahead can

feel challenging, but those next stages

will come.

However, we may need to remind

ourselves not to rush and take

pleasure in what’s happening “now.”

That age old cliche of “time flies”

certainly will come your way. This

brings us pleading for time to stop

going by so fast! Here’s what we need

to do to slow down and cherish the

present.

Sounds easy enough, right? How?

Here are some ideas to keep in mind...

5 Ways to Cherish the Moment

Focus on your family : Pause and

rejoice! The daily routine of work,

school, and activities can be harsh!

Every day feels like a roller-coaster.

And maybe that’s how it has to be

sometimes…but once those weekends

come around? Those two days are for

family. Try your best not to

overschedule your weekends. Sure, there

is some guilt when you have declined

attending functions, but it’s what you

needed to do as a family to continue

focusing on your present.

Do less: No need to bog down every day

of your week with piano class, soccer ,

swimming, etc. Sure, you will want to do

it – but don’t feel that you “need” to do

them because that’s what everyone else

is doing. If you don’t want to play the

game, don’t play the game.

No need to engage in competitive

parenting: It’s not worth the time or the

stress. There is no reason to be

concerned if your friend’s child is not at

the same level as yours. You be you –

and let your child be him/herself too.

Control the desire to look ahead…just a

bit: Of course there are plenty of

aspects of life that you need to plan, but

focus on the present as much as you are

able to. Your child has just started

- 05 -


eading and now you just can’t wait until

he/she starts reading chapter books.

Your child has just begun

understanding numbers and you cannot

wait until they can count to 100 and do

addition, subtraction and multiplication.

Enjoy the present moment.

Be present physically and emotionally:

In this day and age, it feels like we are

being pulled in a 100 different

directions on daily basis. Am I right?

This may call for a conscious effort to

take a step back. For example, trying

to put the phone down when you are

with your kids, so that you can be fully

present with them. For children “this” is

the moment that is important to them.

Children learn from our example – and

slowing down a bit and cherishing the

“now” is a simple and genuine lesson. If

we’re constantly running around crazy,

our children can pick up on this. Be in

the “now” and let your children feel the

joy of who they are “now.”

IN OUR CLASS

P R I M A R Y 1

We have completed our continent study of Africa

and it’s animals. Spring is filled with many exciting

lessons. The children have learned the parts of an

egg and parts of a flower. We have been learning

about the life cycle of a Frog and will continue

with learning the life cycles of different insects.

We will continue completing our lessons for the

remainder of the school year along with the Art

projects for the Arts Festival in May. Be sure to

mark your calendars for the dates.

Truly it is hard to believe that this school year is

slowly coming to a close. It has been amazing to

see how much these children have grown

throughout the year. They have had a wonderful

year of growth in the Montessori environment. All

the children have put in tremendous efforts

throughout the year and have had a year filled

with great achievements. As a Montessori teacher

I have seen how much they have grown in our

environment and I hope that you as parents have

seen this growth in your child within your own

environment.

- 06 -


AUTHOR'S TEA

A R I T E O F P A S S A G E A T R I V E R B E N D

M O N T E S S O R I B Y M A R C I A E D G A R

Authors’ Tea is one of the many Riverbend traditions. It

is a rite of passage. The students begin in Kindergarten

writing stories. These are written phonetically and

usually about family and trips. Then, as we progress in

the Elementary classes, we discuss the six traits of

writing and how to write a creative story.

In Lower El, we have been busy writing, editing, and

publishing our Authors’ Tea pieces. The children enjoy

this process. Through Lit. Circles and read aloud, we look

for “million dollar words” and figures of speech. Now as

authors, we have an opportunity to create metaphors and

to use the thesaurus for better word choice. The

students share their pieces with the class who provide

constructive feedback. Finally, we publish a polished,

cohesive piece.

At Authors’ Tea, our students dress up and enjoy

refreshments. We make up groups of students from

Kindergarten through Upper El. The students will read

their creative and research pieces to the parents.

Authors’ Tea provides a safe environment to start public

speaking. These groups showcase the development of

both creative writing and research through the

curriculum.

Finally, an anthology of the year’s work is complied and

given to each student. The students love to read all of

the stories! Authors’ Tea is a meaningful Riverbend

tradition.

- 07 -


A BUMPER YEAR

L O W E R E L E M E N T A R Y W I T H M A R C I A

E D G A R

Cultural Lessons is the broad term we use for history,

geography, science, zoology, and botany in the Lower

Elementary classroom. This semester we concentrate on

botany. Each week we investigate a different part of the

plant. The students plant a garden and take care of the

plants. We have had a bumper crop of tomatoes and okra

so far. Our squash plants have many beautiful flowers.

The garden provides the students with a hands-on

application of our botany lessons.

We also focus on science lessons in the spring. After

studying electricity and batteries, we used soil, tomatoes,

lemons, and potatoes to power clocks. With our study of

simple machines, we work with the actual machines giving

the students an opportunity to see the machines at work.

We had light experiments to illustrate the principles we

studied. Magnets are a favorite in the class. It is so

wonderful to see the students articulate the principles

while manipulating the materials.

Finally, this has been an amazing year of mathematicians.

For the first time ever, our third graders have reached

quadruple division of dividends in the millions. Our

second graders have mastered multiplication and are

using the stamp game for division. The first graders are

not to be outdone. They are all on multiplication math

facts and have moved to division with the Golden Beads.

This has been an exciting year! Our students have used

concrete materials to master so many concepts. Hats

off to these incredible students!

- 08 -


WHAT IS GOING

ON INSIDE OUR

BRAINS?

B Y M A R C I A E D G A R

Research on the brain has shown us that there are two

different and complementary ways of processing of

information:

Linear thinking: step by step analysis of the parts which

takes place in the left hemisphere of the brain. Here,

the brain acts much like the computer.

Spatial, relationship thinking: combining the parts to

make the whole occurring in the right hemisphere of the

brain. On the right side, the brain acts more like a

kaleidoscope where you have many small pieces seen as a

whole design.

The conventional education system is left brain oriented.

Facts are memorized. Most of the information is

presented verbally with the teacher leading the

discussion. In the conventional classrooms, there is little

opportunity for the children to use their senses in the

educational process. Unfortunately, these classrooms

provide little or no help for the students to develop right

brain thinking skills which are essential to problem

solving and creativity. If a student only develops left

brain thinking, he has a hidden defect because he relies

on a limited number of strategies, and he is at a

disadvantage when the situation requires a full range of

intellectual abilities.

Two-thirds of the children in the study remembered the theory

a year later. Their achievement was considered impressive as

many thought the subject material was too advanced for

children of this age.

Most Montessori lessons are present in the three ways people

learn:

Auditory: The child hears the teacher giving the lesson.

Visual: The materials provide a visual component to the lesson.

Movement: The child manipulates the materials to learn the

lesson in a concrete manner, not abstractly.

The multi-sensory Montessori lessons allow the child to learn in

a way that is most comfortable and successful for the child. In

addition, these lessons help the child develop skills of using all

of the learning styles.

We have to remember that there are no “right brain” and “left

brain” subjects. Math, for example, involves both sequential and

pattern recognition. We think of music as a “right brain”

creative activity; however, the novice musician hears the piece

as a whole (right brain), but the more astute musician sees the

process in an analytical manner (left brain).

Technology and global demands are changing exponentially.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, we are preparing

students for jobs that don’t yet exist, using technology that

hasn’t been invented, in order to solve problems we don’t even

know are problems yet. In order for our children to be

successful, we need to prepare them to be comfortable in using

both sides of their brains to problem solve. As we prepare the

Montessori student for his future, we are working to develop his

entire brain.

When lessons are presented verbally and visually, the

students make their own connections between what they

are learning and what they already know and understand.

With lessons involving several senses, the child learns in

the way best for her to learn. These lessons also present

a full and varied repertoire of thinking strategies to the

child.

For example, a UCLA study showed how combining verbal

and visual activities helped students learn. Kindergarten

and Elementary students were taught kinetic molecular

theory using pictures, concrete examples and simple

verbal text. The verbal portion of the lesson was

represented graphically and with concrete examples

familiar to the children.

- 09 -


TRANSITION TODDLER PROGRAM

I N O U R C L A S S W I T H D O R O T H Y

V A L E N C I A

Because of their constant interaction,

the children learn to take responsibility

for themselves and for each other. We

guide them as they learn to get along

with children of different ages and

abilities, to respect each other’s work

and work space and to treat their peers

and teachers with courtesy.

Since the beginning of this school year,

I speak as I demonstrate basic sign

language such as “help, please, thank

you, water, drink, mommy, daddy, hurt,

walk, sit, and gentle” to each child.

Today, I am proud to see the children

ask for help or for water and sign it to

me using “help please” and “water

please”. I have seen where one child

tells another child to walk in the

classroom and uses the sign language

as speaking it. These are just a few

examples.

A few simple ways to create and help at

home are to practice nonattachment to

belongings, rotate possessions such as

toys, and be mindful with chosen toys

such as puzzles and books.

Independence is a virtue and can be

achieved given lots of patience. It’s

amazing watching the children want to

do on their own and to listen to their

excitement at their accomplishments.

- 10 -


IN OUR CLASS

PRIMARY 2

W I T H S A R A C H A R A N I A

After a long cold winter, spring is finally

here with beautiful greenery and blooming

flowers all around. As the new year started,

we learned about the Solar System and

studied the history behind Martin Luther

King day. Kids researched about Antarctica

animals and made booklets on Money. We

celebrated the fun-filled Discovery Day

learning about different continents and it’s

cultures, tasting delicious food and making

fun and exciting crafts. Hope all the

parents and kids had a wonderful time.

February came along with making beautiful

cards for Valentines as well as learning

about the Presidents of United States of

America. We made a map and learned about

animals of Asia, parts of an Armadillo,

Cactus, and Camel. We also celebrated

Mardi Gra by decorating masks and having a

parade. For Chinese New Year, we are

thankful to parents who came in and

introduced us to Chinese words and how

new year is celebrated in China with gifts.

It was a joy seeing kids dressed up for Go

Texan Day as cowboys and cowgirls and

enjoy nachos and queso.

Spring began with the month of March, all

children and parents participated in St.

Jude’s Trike-A-Thorn. We thank all the

children and parents that contributed and

raised money for such a great cause.

Kindergartners researched about animals in

Africa, and land forms. Kids also learned

about parts of the earth, parts of a bird,

parts of a frog and it’s life cycle, parts of a

flower, and food pyramid. Kindergartners

started preparing and practicing for

Author’s tea. The month of March ended

with exciting egg hunt for Easter and

Spring party. For the month of April we did

parts of an egg, parts of a chick and parts

of the earth. The Kindergarteners wrote

about how they can change the world and

make it a better

place with beautiful

illustrations. They also learned

about the life cycle of a

butterfly and prepared arts and

craft for the upcoming Arts

Festival. We have had an

amazing year and look forward

to starting another year with a

lot of positive energy and fun

activities.

- 11 -


MINDFULLNESS

IN THE

MONTESSORI

ENVIRONMENT

B Y S U S A N H Y L T O N

Recently the teachers and staff of Riverbend Montessori

had an opportunity to attend training on Mindfulness in

the Montessori Environment. During the daylong session,

we were able to learn a number of mindfulness practices.

What struck me as the day progressed were the inherent

similarities between mindfulness practice and that of

Montessori education.

Central to both mindfulness practice and Montessori is

concentrated attention. Dr. Montessori believed that

concentration led to what she called “normalization”

which is when a psychologically healthy state is achieved.

In the classroom, that state is observed when a child is

being constructive and kind in their behavior. When a

child is routinely engaged in focused work they will be in

a normalized state.

In our classroom, students are given lessons on how to

interact with and move in their environment. Children are

shown how to walk carefully and to not run or skip in the

classroom. They carefully bring a rug to the floor to

work and are asked not to walk over another’s rug.

Children learn how to set up their own work and when

finished how and where to restore it. These are not

simply good classroom management techniques but rather

these are life skills of grace and courtesy. The children

are learning how to be mindful of their actions.

Bringing attention to the tasks of everyday living is

another important aspect of mindfulness practice. And

so it is in the Montessori classroom. The work of

practical life is found throughout the school. Toddlers

learning to sweep up crumbs and clean their dishes.

Primary children polishing brass and scrubbing tables and

older children tending to their gardens throughout the

year are but a few examples. In conventional school

environments, there is precious little opportunity to turn

away from abstract academic pursuits.

In our classrooms, we have what are called "uninterrupted

work periods" that support the development of deep and

sustained concentration. Children have enough time

during the work period to absorb fully the knowledge

made available to them in various pieces of work. In a

conventional school environment, you typically have

shorter periods of work driven by the external stimulus

of the teacher. (Lillard, 2011)

The sensory environment of a Montessori school is very

much like the particular attention paid to sensory

experience in mindfulness practice. Our toddlers and

three-year-olds spend a great deal of time learning to

differentiate between smells, colors, tastes, sounds, and

textures. We even play a game called “The Silence

Game”. When the teacher chimes her bell, the entire

class will become silent with the aim of becoming fully

aware of their surroundings. When the teacher again

chimes her bell, the students will discuss what they

experienced and heard. Another game called “Walking the

Line” requires the child to turn their concentration

inward and to become aware of their body in relation to

the environment.(NAMC, 2012)

- 12 -


In Montessori school, we give many of these

opportunities because we know that we are giving a child

the possibility of completing a practical activity

important to their daily lives. These practical activities

involve goal setting, planning, execution and the

development of focus, all important life skills.

In addition, our use of stories can be seen as having

direct links to mindfulness practice. In the elementary

classroom, the use of stories abound. The year starts

with an explanation of the “5 Great Stories: The birth of

the universe, the beginning of life on earth, the beginning

of humankind and the invention of symbols and math.”

(Lillard, 2011) The underlying point of these stories is to

demonstrate to students the interconnectedness of all

things. An important concept in mindfulness practice.

Mindfulness in the Montessori environment not only helps

to develop the executive functioning of a child but helps

the child to learn life skills that will take them well

beyond the classroom and into the adventure that is life.

Works Cited

Lillard, Angeline S. “Mindfulness Practices in Education:

Montessori’s Approach.” Mindfulness 2.2 (2011)

NAMC Montessori Teacher Training Blog, Website,

05/18/2012

- 13 -


THE BEAUTY OF

HISTORY -

MONTESSORI STYLE

W H Y H I S T O R Y M A T T E R S B Y K I M

N E S S L E R - L E A D T E A C H E R U P P E R

E L E M E N T A R Y

Maria Montessori developed a curriculum that would put children in touch

with a global view of the past and that would allow them to shape the

future.

Why should our children of today study and learn about the past?

According to the American History Society, history needs to be studied

because it is essential to individuals and to society, and because it

harbors beauty. (Peter N. Stearns, Historians.org)

Like any subject, history makes sense when taught in chronological order.

In the Montessori classroom, history begins with the creation of our

universe. Information presented to students must have personal meaning

in order for their long-term memory to be struck. The student must be

able to feel the significance of past events and put them into a

meaningful context for his/her own life. The goal of the Montessori

history curriculum is to inspire students to see themselves as an

important participant in the unfolding of humankind. By understanding

the past and feeling significant in the present, Dr. Maria Montessori

believed that students would be prepared to make their conscious

contributions to the world.

After learning about the history of our universe, life on our planet, history

of humans and then the development of their language, history,

Montessori style, gives students a glimpse into how different cultures

have made contributions to different subjects over time. Students are

then able to see in a direct way how people from different cultures and

perspectives play a unique role in the development of something we all

use every day. A student in a Montessori classroom has the opportunity

to investigate the people of ancient times as well as modern peoples

around the world. This also allows students to process the logic behind

the history.

Each year in the Upper Elementary classroom, we focus on a civilization in

great detail. This year we have studied and will by studying more about

the Pueblo Native Americans. We have already examined authentic

artifacts to learn about the Pueblo’s past as well as learning about certain

springtime rituals that modern Pueblos still practice today.

- 14 -


This April, our classroom lessons

came to life. The Riverbend

Montessori Upper Elementary class

travelled to Cortez, Colorado to

experience Pueblo and Native

American culture for five days.

They brought their studies of

early civilizations to life as they

immersed themselves in hands-on

learning. We analyzed artifacts

dating back to 5500 B.C. These

artifacts show they have traveled

through an archaeological timeline

that tells a story about the

amazing Pueblo Indians that once

flourished in the Southwestern

United States. The students

learned about and saw rock art.

We learned the difference

between pictographs and

petroglyphs and how valuable a

tool rock art is to answering

questions about our past. We

spent a day at Mesa Verde National

Park exploring the awe-inspiring

Pueblo villages and pit houses that

once thrived within the canyons

and rock alcoves of the area.

Archeologists guided us on hikes

inside the Canyon of the Ancients

to learn more about the different

ruins that still stand today. We

participated in an authentic

archeological dig to look for

artifacts. A Navajo guided us

through the process of making

authentic pottery, an art that is

still practiced today. We will be

bringing our pieces of pottery

home with us to display at our

annual Riverbend Art Festival at

the end of the school year. This

trip is made possible thanks to our

Riverbend community. Our

successful hot lunch program is

helping to fund each Upper

Elementary student. Thank you to

all that participate!

- 15 -


WHY

MONTESSORI

E X C E R P T F R O M W H Y M O N T E S S O R I

F O R T H E K I N D E R G A R T E N Y E A R ?

R I T T E N B Y T I M S E L D I N W I T H D R .

E L I Z A B E T H C O E

Every year at re-enrollment time, parents of four-almostfive-year-olds

are trying to decide whether or not they

should keep their sons and daughters in Montessori for

kindergarten or send them off to the local schools. The

advantages of using the local schools often seem obvious,

while advantages of staying in Montessori are often not

at all clear. When you can use the local schools for free,

why would anyone want to invest in another year's

tuition? It is a fair question, and it deserves a careful

answer.

So here are a few answers to some of the questions

parents often ask about Montessori for the kindergarten

age child. In a nut shell, what would be the most

important short-term disadvantage of sending my fiveyear-old

to the local schools?

estimated by both parents and educators. Research is

very clear that young children learn by observing and

manipulating their environment, not through textbooks

and workbook exercises. The Montessori materials give

the child concrete sensorial impression of abstract

concepts, such as long division, that become the

foundation for a lifetime understanding.

The five year olds in Montessori classes often help the

younger children with their work, actually teaching

lessons or correcting errors. Anyone who has every had

to teach a skill to someone may recall that the very

process of explaining a new concept or helping someone

practice a new skill leads the teacher to learn as much, if

not more, than the pupil. This is supported by research.

When one child tutors another, the tutor normally learns

more from the experience than the person being tutored.

Experiences that facilitate development of independence

and autonomy are often very limited in traditional

schools.

Most public kindergarten classes have a much lower set

of expectations for five-year-olds than most Montessori

programs, this severely cuts into the learning that could

occur during this crucial year of their lives.

The Montessori student’s understanding of the decimal

system, place value, mathematical operations, and similar

information is usually very sound. With reinforcement as

he grows older, it becomes internalized and a permanent

part of who he is.

Montessori is an approach to working with children that

is carefully based on what we've learned about children's

cognitive, neurological and emotional development from

several decades of research. In a primary classroom,

three and four-year-olds receive the benefit of two years

of sensorial preparation for academic skills by working

with the concrete Montessori learning materials. This

concrete sensorial experience gradually allows the child

to form a mental picture of concepts like how big is a

thousand, how many hundreds make up a thousand, and

what is really going on when we borrow or carry numbers

in mathematical operations.

The value of the sensorial experiences that the younger

children have had in Montessori have often been under-

- 16 -


STILL LIFE

M A R T H A A T W O O D U P D A T E S U S O N

R I V E R B E N D A R T C L A S S E S

The art classes, in spite of so much going on this semester, have managed

to come up with a varied art collection.

We have talked about how many artists incorporate the weather and the

different seasons in their paintings. The children painted their own

versions of the seasons. They painted beautiful sunsets, calm seas, and

stormy oceans, some with watercolors, pastels, and acrylics.

The children also enjoyed painting all kinds of animals, farm animals,

jungle animals and as always birds.

The lower elementary class had a biology lesson on the anatomy of a fish.

We included that lesson and used a beautiful real fish to make prints on

rice paper.

The kindergarten classes have also been doing animal paintings, some with

watercolors. They have also started using acrylics. They painted

elephants, rabbits, and butterflies.

- 17 -


THE MONTESSORI GREENHOUSE

E D W A R D F I D E L L O W

A concern of parents is that a

Montessori environment is too

protective, that children may not be

prepared to face the real world.

After all, a Montessori environment

is made for the child, (the real world

isn’t.) Everything in the environment

is child size. Again, the real world is

made for adults. A Montessori

environment is constructed for the

child to succeed – the real world

doesn’t care.

So, is the Montessori environment an

effective preparation to learn to

swim in the real world or are children

better off to be thrown into the deep

end? A Montessori education is

designed to master the deep end –

but not today! It is designed to step

by step to prepare (and help create)

the future adult to master all the

challenges of adult responsibility.

The environment affords the

protection for the child to safely

build the adult they will become. The

child will build the adult out of real

successes gained day by day and

processes learned and mastered in

navigating the intricacies of

interpersonal relationships and task

management. It is often said in

Montessori that a child’s work is his

play and the irony is that when a

Montessori child enters the adult

world his work does become like child

play because he or she has already

spent the formative years mastering

the tools of the deep end. The child

knows how to set priorities; how to

follow a plan; how to work with

others; how to work through

mistakes; how to develop initiative

and countless other adult tools.

As equally important as the tools are,

so are the emotional building blocks

the child is adding to his or her life

of the adult that will emerge. Blocks

like confidence and competence are

invaluable. Blocks like the

satisfaction of working through a

problem and the understanding that

you can just about conquer any

problem you encounter if you don’t

give up. As successful as a

Montessori education might be

intellectually, its emotional

components are far more powerful.

Those emotional components only

grow in the protected environment

where making mistakes is not

branded as failure but only interim

steps on the way to success.

Finishing what you start (not going

seventy percent of the way and

quitting or being satisfied with less

than your best) can only happen in

the supportive environment of a

Montessori education.

As parents we need to be mindful

that what we see happening in our

children are the underlying

preparations that are being

constructed in our children because

of the Montessori education. The

iceberg of your child’s potential and

ability is hardly visible but the bulk

of it is being constructed (and

growing) under the surface day by

day in the protected environment of

the classroom. Far more is being

constructed than can be seen

without the eye of time when it will

come to fruition.

- 18 -


THE MONTESSORI GREENHOUSE

C O N T .

Montessori is certainly a green

house. No one plants their tomato

plants outside in the deep of winter.

Our Montessori seeds are lovingly

planted and tended where the roots

go down and the stalk grows up

strong until the young fledgling plant

has the strength to grow and thrive -

in the real world.

- 19 -


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together to achieve excellence since 1976

4225 ELKINS ROAD, SUGAR LAND, TX

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